Fracking : A Ethical Issue By Using The Act Utilitarianism Approach

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ETHICAL THEORIES After analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of fracking, this paper attempts to address this ethical issue by using the act-utilitarianism approach. The first reason for using this approach, instead of Respect for Persons and Virtue Ethics, is because utilitarianism strongly supports the impartiality feature. Impartiality is paramount in this fracking case because there are lots of both direct and indirect stakeholders at stake. Local residents around fracking sites suffer from increasing health risk, while other people live very far away around the U.S. benefit from the cheaper natural gas price. Engineers desperately try to deliver the clean energy more safely and responsibly, while oil and gas industry prioritizes efficiency in all sectors. Health-care workers around the fracking sites should be better educated about the negative impacts of fracking to handle public health issues. The U.S. government thus has to spend more money to support continuous research on the effects of fracking, although they gain much revenue from the operations. Animals may also be endangered since they breathe the same air and drink water from the same spring, which was claimed to be contaminated, as humans do. Given the complex and multiple stakeholders, impartiality prevents any special preference on what the ethical solution should be. Public, who counts for the biggest portion of the stakeholders, is not allowed to spread prejudice, given the impartiality feature. From all
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